- What are the components of an essay?
Title, Introduction, Body – at least 2 paragraphs, conclusion.
2. How is an argument Essay Title different from other essay titles?
In an argument essay you can change the title to reflect your position on the side of the argument you are taking.
3. What do we want to do to the reader in the first couple lines of the first paragraph which is the introduction?
Start with an opening hook to catch your readers’ interest. One strategy is to pose a puzzle or question that your essay will then resolve. Whatever you do, keep it brief, and make sure that your opening hook provides a bridge to your thesis statement. Also be sure to avoid general statements that make sweeping and unsupportable claims (e.g. “Since the beginning of time, people have wondered…” or “Americans have always valued their material possessions.”).
4. What should be in your thesis statement?
The thesis statement should be one or two sentences long, and it should at minimum present your thesis to readers. Ideally, you can also briefly explain your main reasons behind the thesis. For instance, if your thesis will argue that “Cats are better than dogs,” include in the thesis a brief explanation of your main sub-arguments: “Cats are better than dogs because they possess a sense of independence, dignity, and hygiene that dogs lack.” As with the opening hook, keep the thesis statement brief.
5. What should be in the body of your essay?
Each paragraph in the body of the essay should start with a topic sentence. The topic sentence should announce the argument of the paragraph and make clear how the paragraph’s evidence will support the essay’s overall argument. The rest of the paragraph should then present and explain evidence that will support the topic sentence. In a sense, the phrase “topic sentence” is little misleading, because this sentence should convey the paragraph’s argument, not simply its topic.
6. When a person reads the conclusion of your argument essay, what are some of the things that they should know about your essay?
It should not only be a summary of your main argument but it should raise broader ideas that flow from your argument and evidence. Perhaps you can offer some lessons that people today should draw from your argument or you may see some interesting parallels to another time, place, or issue. Perhaps you have found an interesting personal or emotional reaction to the material. Feel free to be speculative and thoughtful.
Read the prompt first so that you know what the argument essay is about .
- Read the guidelines to be sure you understand the components that need to be in your essay.
- Be an active reader, “write down words that are unfamiliar, use context clues to figure out the meaning”.
- Underline or highlight sentences or words that provide evidence for your argument. This will help you when you are writing your essay because you won’t have to read the essay all over again to find the evidence.
- Write a rough draft. Now at last you are ready to start writing your paper. Start with a short introduction paragraph and then use your outline to draft the body and conclusion. Don’t forget to begin each paragraph in the body with a topic sentence that conveys the main argument of that paragraph.
- Do not aim for perfection when drafting. The process of writing usually helps reveal which ideas from your outline are compelling and which ones are confused or irrelevant. Use the writing process to test out ideas and examples, and do not be afraid to make adjustments to your outline as you go along.
- Revise the draft. Start with a clean printed copy of your draft and get ready to cover it all over with editorial marks and rewrites.
Questions you need to ask yourself about your argument essay
As you revise, pay particular attention to these questions:
Does the introduction clearly establish and explain the essay’s main argument? Is the introduction brief (i.e. a half-page or less in length)?
Do the supporting paragraphs appear in a logical order that will help readers easily understand your overall argument?
Does each supporting paragraph start with a clear topic sentence that announces the paragraph’s main idea? Does that topic sentence idea provide clear support for your essay’s overall thesis?
Does each supporting paragraph have enough evidence to support its topic sentence? Is each sentence clear and grammatical?